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Will Antifoul Paint Reduce Top Speed?

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I just bought a 2002 260 SSI with the 8.1L Volvo (207 hours). The previous owner just had the bottom painted and said the boat would cruise @ 50mph. I can't get it over 42 mph on smooth water. The RPM @ WOT is only 3800. It also takes 8-10 seconds to get on plane. I called the boat shop at our marina and he said its so slow because of the antifouling paint on the bottom. Digging deeper I found that when this boat was new it's top speed was 57mph @ 4500 rpm. Is the repair shop telling me the truth? He said I could get another 5mph with new props ($1500 for 2). Where do I go from here?

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With painted but clean and no growth bottom boat can lose 3-5 mph. The bottom paint does not explain the low WOT rpms. There is something not right with the engine, or props' pitch does not mesh with your engine/boat.

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WOT RPM is too low at 3800.  look for the easy & most common solution.  change the plugs and fuel filter first and then check RPM.  the bottom paint will take a 1-2mph off top end if that - your describing a fouled plug or bad wires.  a DIY job for less than 100 bucks

if that is not the issue, then move to fuel pump issues - props are probably not the issue if the owner gave you the props he used.

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2 hours ago, Richard W said:

With painted but clean and no growth bottom boat can lose 3-5 mph. The bottom paint does not explain the low WOT rpms. There is something not right with the engine, or props' pitch does not mesh with your engine/boat.

If that, IB) think more like 2 to 3 mph. BUT THAT ME.................:D

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If the owner was truthful about the speed of the boat. Check what PROPS are on the boat. ALL parts are suspect on a used,  very slow boat.

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My 02 265 ssi with Merc 8.1 would run 54.8 at 4800 when totally clean and it wasn't painted.

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4 hours ago, Iggy said:

If that, IB) think more like 2 to 3 mph. BUT THAT ME.................:D

Agree ... the numbers were the worst case scenarios. My boat lost exactly 2.5 mph with a barrier coat on.

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11 hours ago, Richard W said:

With painted but clean and no growth bottom boat can lose 3-5 mph. The bottom paint does not explain the low WOT rpms. There is something not right with the engine, or props' pitch does not mesh with your engine/boat.

+1, bottom paint should have a infitesimal impact. 3-5 mph sounds a bit much, I'm thinking 1-3 on fresh paint sounds more likely. Regardless, OP seems to have engine/drive/prop issues.

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Thanks for all the input. I think I'm going to start with new plugs, cap, wires & fuel filter. I spoke with the original boat owner and he couldn't remember when they were replaced last.

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One more thought. The previous owner said he had the throttle cable replaced last year. Is it possible that it was installed incorrectly so that the throttle isn't engaged fully and is only running at 80%?

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as you stated the boat is sluggish out of the water.  a few of us experienced this and your symptoms are that of a bad spark plug.  my boat last year had the same or similar symptoms.  couldn't believe the difference once new plugs were put in.  boats are not cars - for whatever reason those plugs need to be replaced more frequently 

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